Court asks Delhi’s public schools to file affidavits


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked those public schools built on subsidised government land that have not appeared before the court, to file an affidavit committing to reserve at least 15 percent of seats for students from weaker sections of society.

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A bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice S.N. Agrawal said if such schools did not submit the affidavit within six weeks, they will have to reserve 20 percent seats in terms of the notification of Delhi lieutenant governor.

About 250 of the 361 public schools in the capital, built on subsidised land, had formed an association and had approached the court Jan 31, challenging the notification of the state government, which had directed them to set aside 20 percent seats for students from weaker sections of society.

The court had asked them Tuesday to reserve 15 percent seats for students from poor families. Wednesday's direction was meant for the 111 schools that are not part of the association.

"The Directorate of Education (DoE) will initiate action against the defaulting schools permissible under the Delhi Education Act," said the bench while pronouncing the order Tuesday.

Disobedience of the order would invite contempt-of-court proceedings against the governing body of the school, said the order.

The order would be implemented from the next academic session in the capital.

The bench said, "The government has already lowered the requisite quota from 25 percent to 20 percent. Lowering it below 15 percent would not be proper. Fifteen percent of seats for the poor in schools built on subsidised government land would be proper.

"The private unaided schools should provide free education to at least 15 percent poor students including the wards of the employees. From next year the schools would have to give 15 percent apart from the admission to the wards of the employees," said the bench.